Posting has been a little light this month since we are smack dab in the middle of family vacation season. Every summer we take a couple weeks off to spend in Las Vegas, my hometown. It’s a city that doesn’t often get a great family vacation vibe, but over the years we’ve come to adore bringing the kids for vacation there. There is so much the city has to offer and it is perfect for the big kid 8 year old crowd. Here is my list of all the Las Vegas ideas for kids that we love!

I’ve shared before the spots I loved when we visited Vegas with toddlers, but going with big kids is even more fun…

Since we visit Vegas most often in July, the hottest time of the year, this list of Las Vegas ideas for kids is geared towards that time of year.

Las Vegas Ideas For Kids

First up on the list is obviously pools! If you visit Las Vegas in the summer (with kids!), getting wet will be the first and most important plan to make. Most days we basically go from swimming at grandparents houses, to swimming in one of these pools, to swimming some more! ;) If your kids love the water you can’t beat it! Here are 5 Las Vegas pools that we love for the kids:

1. The M pool – is a gorgeous pool that instantly transports you to feeling all the summer vacation vibes. Locals can pay to get in most days before noon so if you have a friend in town, it’s a great option.

2. The Nugget pool – has a clear glass slide that runs through a shark tank. Enough said! The hotel is definitely smack dab downtown so we don’t love staying there, but for a fee you can visit the pool any day.

3. The Westin pool – has waterslides, fountains, a beach, and even dive in movies to watch at sunset, basically everything needed for a great pool vacation.

4. The pool at Green Valley Ranch – is a stunning pool for kids with a beach, a bridge (to swim under & run over 75 times, Ha!), and plenty of fun to keep them busy. If you have a larger group it is great pool to rent a cabana at for the day. You can rent a cabana even if you’re not staying at the hotel and the cabanas have access to the entire resort pool, plus their own private pools above making it a place where everyone can relax and enjoy the day.

5. Wet’n’Wild – a pool/waterpark experience that is incredibly colorful and fun. We visited the park and loved how bright and colorful all the rides were. My kids are big fans of water slides and wave pools. With the park butting right up to the edge of town you can see the dessert from everywhere, making the vibrant colors really come alive. For kids who are more adventurous it is a great way to spend a day.

And as long as we are talking about getting wet…

For anyone visiting on the 4th of July weekend we’ve been attending the Boulder City Damboree Parade for years now. Boulder City is a small town about 30 minutes from Vegas, made most famous this last year in La La Land. It’s a pretty sleepy town, but on the 4th every year they hold a parade that is not a normal parade… it is a water parade!!! Which means all the floats soak the bystanders and we can soak them back. From cheer squads to military salutes there is water flying everywhere and the entire event is hilariously fun. Definitely worth the drive to experience.

Las Vegas Ideas For Kids On The Strip

And then there’s the strip and all the fun to be had there. Here are a couple things the kids have loved that we’ve done in the past few years:

The Link – seeing Vegas from the pod suspended in the air is always a favorite.

The Tournament of Kings – we enjoyed this show last year and the kids adored getting to see the knights fight at the round table & they loved eating with their hands!

The Bodies Exhibit – is something really unique that was perfect for kids who are just learning about how all the body parts work.

The Adventuredome – The very large pink ball you see on the strip houses a rollercoaster and fun rides for kids. Although I would suggest it more for the 5-7 crowd, there is one large rollercoaster definitely worth experiencing and if your kids happen to be 55 inches tall they can ride the rollercoaster at the New York New York too. My kids aren’t quite that tall yet, but it is one of my favorites! ;)

This year we took the kids to see my favorite Las Vegas show Blue Man Group. YOU NEED TO GO! Oh gosh… They loved it more than I could have imagined. From the music, to the iphone jokes to the extreme confetti, paper, tsunami at the end… they didn’t stop talking about the show for days. It was a perfect show to take big kids (and myself, and grandparents) to see. Everyone loved it.

Lake Las Vegas – did you know Vegas has a lake? Well actually 2 lakes, we have Lake Mead and then the smaller man made Lake Las Vegas. It’s about a 20 minute drive from the city but has a gorgeous dessert lake vibe that I’ve never seen anywhere else. There are a number of amazing hotels, kayaks, paddle boards and plenty of summer fun to be had. We try to stay out over the 4th to watch the fireworks from the beach and it’s become one of our family’s favorite vacation spots. It has all the luxury of Vegas without the craziness of the Strip.

If you are visiting Las Vegas (or really anywhere), I’d suggest jumping on to see what types of Groupons and Livingsocial deals are available online. I found this fun helicopter ride that took 3 people up and around the strip for less than $100! The kids got it for Matt for Father’s Day and they all loved flying high over Vegas. Just the experience of riding in a helicopter and getting to see the gorgeous sunset was a favorite for them all.

One thing that has changed in Las Vegas from when I grew up there is a much stronger focus on the arts, which is awesome! From the Smith Center, to brightly painted Flamingo Walls, to The Neon Graveyard Museum, to The 7 Magic Mountains there is something really great about seeing gorgeously bright art with a dessert backdrop. We friends from growing up opening coffee shops, breweries and art galleries – it’s amazing every year to go back and see how much better our city has become.

Will you take your kids to Vegas? I’d love to know what they loved for our trip next year…